Joseph Barsby Takes To The Air Waves!

Joseph Barsby Takes To The Air Waves!

Last week saw our Managing Director, Joseph Barsby, taking to the airwaves again with an insight and behind the scenes tour of our Hinckley funeral home as BBC Radio Leicester came to visit.  Joseph explained all about the history of the business and the pride and passion that the family and the team have for all that we do, and have done for over 100 years.

Ben Jackson from BBC Radio Leicester talked to Joseph about the business, what it means to serve the community as a family business and also gave us the chance to further dispel some of the myths around the subject of prepaid funeral plans as well.

You can hear the interview in full here  (fast forward the show to 1:11:55 from the beginning)

As Joseph concludes, “It is a real privilege to do what we do and we are really proud of our offices and the way that we engage with the local community.  It was a pleasure to show Ben around and explain in more detail what we do and the level of care that we take in performing our duties, and to showcase our family business that has been at the heart of the local community for over 100 years.”

The May Chapel

As part of the development of G. Seller for the future new chapels of rest have been designed and The May Chapel is dedicated to the memory of Dorothy May Jarvis, the aunt of senior funeral director Rhonda Astill.

As is the case with each of the five chapels of rest, there is a personal story behind them, part of the journey that the family and the business have been on together, and in the naming of the May Chapel, Rhonda recognises that the memory of her aunt who passed away nearly forty years ago will continue to be remembered.

As she explains “memories never fade and you can never forget a loved one who gave so much to remember.”

As Joseph Barsby, third generation director concludes, “We wanted to name the chapels of rest after something that means something special to us as a team. Our business is built around caring for people and families in their time of need and to be able to reflect on something as personal as the memory of a loved one in the name of each of our chapels of rest is something really special, to us as a family, and the extended family of our staff who take pride in all they do each and every day.”

Service Of Reflection 2018

The family and extended family of G. Seller would like to warmly extend an invitation to friends and families to join us in our Service of Reflection to remember all the loved ones that we have been privileged to take care of.

The Service will take place on Friday 30th November at 7:00pm at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Leicester Road, Hinckley, Leicestershire with light refreshments being served in the Mary Forryan Centre following the service.

Amy Barsby, Director of G. Seller & Co. Ltd, said, “It is a privilege to work in our family business and to continue to serve the local community, as we have done for over 100 years. The Service Of Reflection is an opportunity for us to show support for the friends and families of the loved ones that we have taken care of and something that resonates at the heart of all that we do.”

 

Hinckley Funeral Director Takes National Stance

Joseph Barsby, 3rd generation director of family funeral directors G. Seller calls for tighter regulation of Pre-Paid Funeral Plans, to ensure best practice and clearer disclosure in the interests of bereaved families.

Joseph and the dedicated team at G. Seller are passionate about providing the highest levels of bereavement care to the families they are privileged to serve. He took part in the ITV Tonight Pay Now, Die Later documentary which looked into some mis-selling of pre-paid funeral plans.  As presenter, Chris Choi explained on air, “Our lives are full of special moments, each marked in its own special way, be it a birthday, wedding or death and there are ways that you can plan your death whilst still alive and kicking.”

As Joseph points out, “A pre-paid funeral plan should allow people to plan ahead, removing the uncertainty of your final wishes and financial pressures on your family. However, many plans are set, meaning that they don’t provide the personalised options, no matter how simple or unique. There is often a complete lack of clarity in what costs are or aren’t covered. But by going directly to a company like us, you can have the peace of mind that all of these pitfalls are not faced.”

A bespoke plan, no matter how simple or bespoke is tailored to the individual and G. Seller pride themselves on going the extra mile to meet the needs of the families that they serve, providing the highest levels of bereavement care to the families that they are entrusted to look after.  The same attention to detail is placed on creating the funeral plan to meet the needs of the individual too.  As a family business, family and real values are at the heart of all that they do and it is important to get it right.

Joseph recognises that there is a need for change to prevent families being distressed in the future and is calling for more regulation and clarity over the sector to ensure best practice, better standards of communication and clearer information for families as to what is and isn’t included in a plan, and whether the family may need to pay for anything separately when their loved one does sadly pass away.

Passionate about the need to raise awareness to make sure families are not duped and mis-sold to, Joseph has outlined the following considerations when thinking of taking out a pre-paid funeral plan:

  1. Speak directly to your funeral director, avoiding all third parties and call centres.
  2. Choose your own plan. G. Seller recommends are bespoke plan, allowing you to choose the options you want, no matter how simple or bespoke. Be careful with set plans that don’t cover a lot of costs that you may think is covered.
  3. Make sure you understand whether any fees are being deducted from the plan.
  4. Find out how and where the monies will be held.
  5. Seek out what flexible options there is to pay for the plan and find the way that is best for you.

Pre-paid funeral plans are a great way to provide clarity for the family and to ensure that a funeral is carried out the way that the deceased intended and to avoid unscrupulous practices and fee deductions that could lead to the plan not covering the intended costs, it is important to understand the plan and get things clarified in writing.  As a firm, G. Seller work in association with Golden Charter, a trusted independent plan provider and put together a fully itemised quotation of the fees involved, being completely clear and transparent.

As Joseph concludes, “With over 1.3 million people in the UK having a funeral plan, and the costs of funerals expected to continue to rise in years to come, more people are looking into the options and need to be careful.  Checking the small print is essential to the process and I would strongly recommend speaking to your funeral director that will be looking after you.  The local funeral director is also clearly able to explain the details of the plan and to work in a professional manner to meet the needs of any individual too.”

“Programmes like Tonight are important if as a sector we are to be totally professional in the work that we do and that we retain our values and ethos in really caring for the people that matter, the families we serve.  I am passionate about what we do and it is upsetting to see people being taken advantage of by unscrupulous organisations.  I am fully behind the need for the Government to review the sector and to come up with guidance to ensure the sector is better regulated to provide clearer disclosure and protection of the consumer.”

“We are pleased to be pushing for change, to raise the bar for families to get better service at their time of need and to lead the way in the national debate on this important issue.  As a family business with values and integrity at our core, we are keen to make a stance and proud to call for changes to ensure that no family is left with a funeral plan that is not what they thought they were taking out, only find out when it is really too late, and to create greater clarity around the terms, conditions and fees involved with these plans.”

Creating A Community Legacy

As part of the ongoing development of G. Seller & Co. Ltd these are exciting times. As a family business that has been serving the Hinckley community for over 100 years, G. Seller are currently expanding and enhancing their premises in Hinckley. As Joseph Barsby, third generation Managing Director explains, “We are investing in the very fabric of the business to ensure that we continue to improve our service to the families that we have we have the privilege to care for. As part of the developments of the business we are increasing the number of Chapels of Rest and assigning names that have a real resonance with our family, the extended family who work with us and share the passion for what we do, and the community at large.”

In total, there will be five Chapels of Rest and each will have a story behind it, a special story that adds a little something special, in keeping with the way that the business is run each and every day.

The Rose Chapel has been named after the late wife of the Chairman, David Barsby, reflecting the involvement of the Barsby family in the business for three generations, and a fitting legacy to someone who played a key role in the firm.

The team are at the core of what this family firm is all about and it is therefore, unsurprising, that the selection of the names of three of the Chapels of Rest have been passed to the longest serving employees at G. Seller.

Rhonda Astill has named The May Chapel after her late Aunt Dotty’s middle name and also the month that Rhonda was born. It was the passing of her Aunt in 1979 that led Rhonda to pursue her vocation to become a Funeral Director. Rhonda is one to the longest serving employees within the business, adding, “It is a lovely gesture that has been afforded to me to select the name of this Chapel, reflecting the way that I entered the profession and I am honoured to name it after my Aunt.”

Joe Ferridge has dedicated the second Chapel to a partner who sadly passed away, naming it The Branch Chapel, and Kevin Draper has named The Forget-Me-Not-Chapel, adding, “Memories are important to us all and the name simply reflects the desire for us all to be remembered and it resonates with me as an appropriate name for the Chapel too.”

G. Seller have long been involved with the local community and are passionate about their involvement in local activities, something that culminated in them winning the recent Leicester Mercury Contribution To The Community Award, so it will come as no surprise that the final Chapel is to be named by someone in the community.

As Joseph explains, “We are asking the local community to name the final chapel and are encouraging people to send in their suggestions, and the reason behind it, and we will select a winning name in due course.”

Anyone wishing to submit a name should do so in writing to Joseph Barsby either by post or email. 75 Upper Bond Street, Hinckley, LE10 1RH or office@gseller.co.uk by 31st December 2017.

As Joseph concludes, “The ongoing refurbishments and new developments within the business will further enhance the service that we are able to offer to the community and ensure that the business is well placed to continue for generations to come.”

Prestigious Employee Award For Rhonda Astill

We are delighted to announce that our Funeral Director, Rhonda Astill, has won the coveted Employee of the Year 2017 at the prestigious Niche Magazine Awards.

Having suffered a close bereavement in her early teens, Rhonda decided to pursue a career in funeral directing which is without a doubt, her absolute vocation. She joined G. Seller & Co. Ltd in 1984 on a Youth Training Scheme and trained as an embalmer, being mentored by our Chairman, David C. Barsby.

Her career spans 32 years and she has worked nationwide within the funeral profession. She has been a member of a specialist Worldwide Disaster Team, assisting in the repatriation of air-crash victims, is a qualified embalmer and holds the Diploma in Funeral Directing and is a member of the British Institute of Funeral Directors.

As Joseph Barsby, Director of G. Seller & Co explains, this is a well deserved award win as “Rhonda very rarely has her full allotment of holiday she is entitled too, she goes to countless community events in her own time, and she is always at the other end of the phone for any member of the team, both personally and professionally. She leads from the front, is one of the first in the office in a morning and one of the last to leave in the evening.”

“She exemplifies the very essence of this award and would be a truly worthy recipient of the Employee of the Year Award 2017 in recognition not just of what she has done for our business in terms of an employee, but for her continuous endeavours in going above and beyond the role expected of her to deliver a truly outstanding service to the families that she cares for at all times.”

“We are thrilled that her dedication to her role has been rewarded in this way. Congratulations Rhonda!”

 

Recognition After 60 Years For Sharrad Gilbert

Following a successful fundraising campaign, the contribution of Burbage resident Sharrad Gilbert has been recognised with an appropriate memorial to commemorate his life and the decorated War hero.

In Burbage St. Catherine’s Churchyard, in a previously unmarked grave, rest the mortal remains of one Sharrad Holland Gilbert. At the time of his death, in 1961, he was the oldest resident in Burbage, a widower of some 21 years, he was aged 93 and was blind and deaf. He died at his home De Montfort House, in Britannia Road. Mr Gilbert had fallen onto his fire and died of severe burns. These bare facts, passed over with little comment in the local press belie the importance of Sharrad Gilbert’s contribution to his community and his country.

Sharrad Gilbert had the distinction of serving in elements of the Leicestershire Regiment for 35 years, encompassing both The Boer War and the First World War. He was a writer of distinction – “Rhodesia and After” his book on his exploits in the Imperial Yeomanry during the Boer War is considered a masterpiece of its genre and was republished in 2004.

The Hinckley Times and Bosworth Herald eagerly reproduced material sent back from South Africa by Gilbert. He worked for the local hosiery industry all his life as an office clerk and was a leading member of the local Conservative Association, editing the group’s newsletter in the 1890’s. His name appears on the Boer War memorial tablet that is currently owned by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council and which was on the wall of the old council offices in Station Road, Hinckley for many years.

As Joseph Barsby, Director of G. Seller & Co. Ltd explains, “We were delighted to support the campaign for ‘Sharrad’s Stone’ to create a fitting memorial to reflect the contribution that Sharrad Gilbert made and to celebrate the life of the man from Burbage.  Following a successful fundraising campaign the memorial was completed and it was great to see the official launch take place and a fitting service of reflection too.  Sharrad’s Stone is a memorial that means Sharrad is no longer remembered as the forgotten hero and we have created an appropriate memorial to remember his endeavours on behalf of the country.”

A large congregation gathered to commemorate the life of Sharrad Gilbert in a service of reflection that included the Lord Lieutenant of Leicester, Lady Gretton, the Mayor of Hinckley and Bosworth, Cllr Ozzy O’Shea, Leicestershire County Council Chairman, Cllr Janice Richards, and Burbage Parish Council Chairman, Cllr Stan Rooney.

As Joseph concludes, “It was great to reflect on the incredible life of an extraordinary man who made such a remarkable contribution. The Sharrad tone is a fitting memorial to the endeavours of Sharrad Gilbert  and it was  a pleasure to be involved in such a project to create such an appropriate and fitting memorial too.”

The Family Business Pledge

Proud of our roots, we are delighted to have signed up to support the Family Business Pledge.

Award winning family business resource centre and champion of family firms, Family Business United is proud to have created the Family Business Pledge, helping to celebrate the fact that family firms are a force for good and deserve to be recognised for all they do.  As founder Paul Andrews explains, “We want to celebrate the family business as a model and exemplar, to draw attention to the family firms around the world that do amazing things on a daily basis and to help to dispel the myths that pervade the sector.  Family firms are a positive force for good and we want to ensure that it is recognised.”

“We want family firms to come together to raise the voice, support the sector and help to demonstrate that there is immense pride, passion and belief in what they do and to help us in our mission to celebrate the family business.”


The Family Business Pledge outlines a specific set of actions that the organisations signing up to the ‘pledge’ recognise will help to engender greater appreciation of the family business sector, provide broader recognition for the sector and help to further advance the field of family business.

Family firms like ours make a significant contribution to national economies around the world in terms of employment, revenues and taxes, not to mention the good that they make to the communities in which they operate.  This campaign seeks to help empower all family firms to be part of a collective voice, proud of their roots and all that they do on a daily basis.  Simply put, family businesses are an unquestionable force for good.

The tenets of The Family Business Pledge:

– Promote family business in general
– Celebrate family business ownership
– Promote the fact that they are a family owned business
– Recognise the contribution of family firms
– Share news and success stories
– Promote best practice
– Help to create awareness and generate recognition for family firms.

Joseph Barsby, Director at G. Seller & Co. Ltd adds, “As a family firm we are proud of our ownership and the journey that our family firm continues to make since starting out over 100 years ago.  Our business is all about family, from the family ownership and heritage that goes back for generations to the wider ‘extended family’ of employees who work for us, and the fact that what we do is a privilege – to care for families and provide them with a service they need at what is a difficult time for them.”

“We are delighted to support a campaign that recognises family firms like ours and helps to shine the light on the good work that family firms do in the UK and beyond.  Campaigns such as this are vital to dispelling the myths around family firms and helping to celebrate all the good things firms like ours do.”

Leicester Mercury Business Awards Finalists!

The annual Leicester Mercury Business Awards are entering the closing stages for 2017 and we are delighted to announce that we have made it into the final three for the Contribution to the Community Award this year.  These awards aim to celebrate success, recognise achievement and highlight the innovative people and companies throughout Leicestershire who are putting their region on the map by boosting the economy while making a positive contribution to the local community.

As Joseph Barsby, Director at G. Seller & Co. Ltd explains: “To have made the final three in the Contribution to the Community Award is a fantastic achievement for a firm like ours and is great recognition for the endeavours of everyone within our organisation.  As a fourth generation family firm that has been operating for over 100 years, we pride ourselves on supporting the communities in which we live and work and the whole team continue to make a difference to lives throughout the region.”

“From supporting the Christmas Lights in Hinckley and providing transport for those not able to make the journey themselves, to raising funds and supporting the Dorothy Goodman School Academy, acting as collection points for the local Food Banks, supporting the Newbold Verdon Library, the numerous charity bakes and coffee mornings we hold throughout the year, not to mention the support of team members on their own charitable endeavours, we really do take our involvement with the local community seriously, and as a firm with strong family and community values at our core, it is very much part of our ethos to celebrate our communities and to give back wherever we can too,” adds Joseph.

“We are delighted to be a finalist in the ‘Contribution to the Community Award’ at this year’s Leicester Mercury Business Awards and fingers crossed for a successful outcome on April 27 too.  It is fantastic recognition for everyone involved with G. Seller & Co. and we are tremendously proud to be in the final.”

The awards final, which is set to take place on 27th April 2017 at Leicester Arena, will be attended by hundreds of Leicestershire’s business elite and will undoubtedly be a celebration of the county’s best companies and a reminder that Leicestershire is a great place to do business.

 

Sharrad’s Stone – An Appeal Is Launched

Would you like the opportunity to put right an injustice?  Here is such a chance.

In Burbage St. Catherine’s Churchyard, in an unmarked grave, rest the mortal remains of one Sharrad Holland Gilbert. At the time of his death, in 1961, he was the oldest resident in Burbage, a widower of some 21 years, he was aged 93 and was blind and deaf. He died at his home De Montfort House, in Britannia Road. Mr Gilbert had fallen onto his fire and died of severe burns. These bare facts, passed over with little comment in the local press belie the importance of Sharrad Gilbert’s contribution to his community and his country.

Sharrad Gilbert had the distinction of serving in elements of the Leicestershire Regiment for 35 years, encompassing both The Boer War and the First World War. He was a writer of distinction – “Rhodesia and After” his book on his exploits in the Imperial Yeomanry during the Boer War is considered a masterpiece of its genre and was republished in 2004.

The Hinckley Times and Bosworth Herald eagerly reproduced material sent back from South Africa by Gilbert. He worked for the local hosiery industry all his life as an office clerk and was a leading member of the local Conservative Association, editing the group’s newsletter in the 1890’s. His name appears on the Boer War memorial tablet that is currently owned by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council and which was on the wall of the old council offices in Station Road, Hinckley for many years.

Two local men are working with Burbage Heritage group, to raise funds, to have a commemorative headstone erected over the grave of this forgotten hero. Mr Stephen Kellaway, a medal dealer and collector, has had an interest in the background to Sharrad Gilbert’s story for over thirty years. He recently noticed that Sharrad Gilbert’s medals were up for sale in one of the London auction houses. The medals never went to sale as at the eleventh hour the ownership of the medals was disputed by Leicester Regimental Museum. Mr Greg Drozdz, local historian and Vice-Chairman of Hinckley and District Museum, has had a long fascination with the character of Sharrad Gilbert, his late mother having worked with Mr Gilbert at Moore Eady Murcott Goode and having spoken in glowing terms of the small spare man who was an understated personality.

Above images depict work in progress on the stone

Burbage Heritage Group have built up an enviable reputation of celebrating and commemorating the characters of the village through their blue plaque programme. All three are working with local Funeral Directors, G Seller and Co, to complete the process of putting right the injustice of an unmarked grave to a forgotten hero.

The group has plans for a cairn as a headstone, outlining Sharrad Gilbert’s achievements, especially his book on his Boer War experiences. The plan for the headstone emulates the fact that the places of the fallen in South Africa from the Boer War were often commemorated with cairns of stones.

The group wishes to engage with the wider community and are launching an appeal to raise the £4,500 needed to cover the cost of the headstone and installation. This is an opportunity for people of the area and beyond to put right something which is an injustice.

Cheques should be made payable to “The Sharrad Gilbert Memorial Fund” and can be sent to Mrs. Sylvia Whitworth, BHG, 121 Church Street, Burbage, Leics LE10 2DB.

Alternatively donations can also be made by internet banking to:

Nat West Bank
Account Number: 19425597
Sort Code: 60-11-06
Account name: Sharrad Gilbert Memorial Fund

The Burbage Heritage Group intend to publish a list of donors on their website. If you would like your name credited in this way or just to appear anonymously please indicate your intention with your donation.